Nursing School Stress: How to Make it Through

Updated on September 26, 2022

Realizing that nursing school is very stressful doesn’t take much imagination. This is a high-pressure curriculum leading up to a high-pressure job.

While there are many reasons that nursing school is stressful, and the fact that it’s stress is well-known, many people register for classes every day.

While it is a challenge, and no one ever said graduating from nursing school would be easy, it can be done. Nothing will completely take the stress out of this program, but the rewards are high once you make it through.

Follow the tips and tricks below to avoid being overly stressed so that you can enjoy your time in classes and when you’re at home.

Practice Self-Care

Anyone who has ever gone to nursing school will tell you that it’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside to stay caught up in studying and classes. Not taking care of yourself isn’t doing you any favors and will only lead to anxiety, stress, and mental and physical health problems.

If you feel your anxiety is getting out of control, take a simple “do I have anxiety quiz” online, then go from there. If you feel that you can’t manage your anxiety through self-care and your nursing support system, it’s best to make an appointment with a therapist to help you make it through.

Self-care isn’t just about anxiety quizzes; however, you need to practice self-care that makes you feel good about yourself. For example, if long walks in the park relax you and help you focus, make time to do that. If your idea of relaxation is curling up with the latest Stephen King novel and drinking cocoa, then that’s what you need to do at least twice a week.

Develop a Consistent Study Routine

One of the first things you need to do, even before your first day of class, is to develop a consistent, doable study routine. On the first day of class, start getting to know your fellow nursing students, and see about setting up study groups because you’re not going to be able to do this alone.

Sit down, make a study schedule that you can live with, and stick to that schedule. The schedule should not only detail the times you’re going to study but should also have your classes listed and what you’re studying for.

Organization is key to being less stressed while you’re in school, and it’ll also help you in your career after graduation.

After Class Recap Practice

While high school might have been a breeze for you, meaning you never had to study, don’t expect nursing school to be the same. There’s a lot of information to get through in a short time, and all of it is tough.

Never wait until the last minute to start studying for an exam; instead, use what we call after-class recap practice. This is a practice where you review the most important parts of the class soon after the class has ended. This keeps the information fresh in your mind and helps you store it for serious studying later on.

This way of studying also helps you identify areas that you don’t understand and need help on, instead of finding out the night before the test, which is highly stressful for sure.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Nursing courses are challenging, and you’re not going to know everything. The best way to ensure you’re learning and doing things as you’re supposed to be is to ask questions. If you’re confused about something, ask your professor, other students in your class, and even other nurses if the need arises.

Deciding to become a nurse and help those in need is an admirable goal. However, it’s essential to know that it’s a long, hard road, and it’s a marathon, not a sprint to the finish. Following the tips above will help you reach that goal stress-free and ready to take on the world. 

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